Celebs Who Personify Kwanzaa’s 7 Principles

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L.A. Event Center and NFL Stadium Press Conference

From Magic Johnson to Soledad O’Brien, these notables live by the tenets of the African-American holiday.

Founded in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, an Africana-studies scholar, Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration — lasting from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 — meant to commemorate the African heritage of black Americans. Each day of the celebration is devoted to one of seven principles. This year The Root decided to take the holiday’s seven principles and pick one or two prominent African Americans who best embody each one.

Below, check out our picks for the most Kwanzaa-fied celebrities.

1. Umoja (Unity): Barack Obama

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To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Although Obama is seen by his supporters as a unifier, one need only look at the exit polls from the Nov. 6 election to see that the nation is hardly united. But there are times when Obama is called upon as president to unify communities and an entire nation, times when politics and partisanship are completely set aside. After the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, it was his duty to travel to the town to console victims, speak to residents and calm a scared nation.

 

2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): Soledad O’Brien

and Oprah Winfrey

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To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

On paper, O’Brien and Winfrey don’t have much in common except a TV-journalism background. But through their work, both of them embody the spirit of Kujichagulia — O’Brien, with her CNN series Black in America,through which she takes on the unenviable task of defining the diverse black experience for a mainstream audience; and Winfrey, with her media empire.

 

3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility):

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker

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To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

Politicians are supposed to make it their personal mission to maintain their community and make their brothers’ and sisters’ problems their own, but no politician takes it quite as personally as Booker, who, in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, opened his home to people without electricity and personally responded to his constituents on Twitter.

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article courtesy of TheRoot.com

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